High Goals Require Political Courage, Public Engagement

Blog Post
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In a recent speech in Jerusalem,  President Obama seems to have struck a responsive chord when he encouraged his listeners – particularly young  people in the audience -- to ignore the competing claims of extremists and take the push for peace into their own hands.

Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby suggested in a blog post Monday that the President could repackage some of the same themes for a national address as Washington enters a crucial phase in budget negotiations. “While the policy choices in each situation are not directly comparable,” Bixby wrote, “some of the points he made in the speech could resonate in this country as well.”

Obama praised the idealism and energy of young people, for example, and discussed how even deep differences can be bridged to reach critical goals. “Most importantly,” Bixby says of Obama, “he could remind the American people as he did the Israelis that they – not just politicians – can bring about solutions.”  

The President said that people should encourage elected officials to move forward in a positive way: “You must create the change that you want to see. Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.”

As for the pursuit of fiscal reform in this country, Bixby says, “if by chance the President and his colleagues on Capitol Hill need a little push, then we the people should be there to provide it.”